explain this quote of macbeth pleaseNow o'er the one half-world/Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse/The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates/Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murder,/...

explain this quote of macbeth please

Now o'er the one half-world/Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse/The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates/Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd Murder,/ Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,/Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,/With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design/Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,/Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear/Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,/And take the present horror from the time,/  Which now suits with it.

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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This is part of Macbeth's soliloquy in Act 2, Scene 1, just as he walks towards Duncan's chamber to kill him. He is extremely disturbed in his mind at the prospect and conjures up a morbid atmosphere in keeping with the crime he is about to commit. He muses on the surrounding darkness; it is night, normal life is asleep and appears 'dead', and 'wicked dreams' have taken over. Painfully conscious of the crime he is about to commit, he invokes the spirit of Murder and other sinister images such as wolves and Hecate, goddess of the night and of witchcraft. He also recalls Tarquin,  the son of a king in Ancient Rome who committed an infamous crime of rape. Macbeth feels guilty over his own footsteps bearing him closer to the place of the planned murder; he wishes that the sound of them could disappear altogether.This shows just how perturbed he is over the whole affair, yet he still cannot hold back from it.

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